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At Heaven’s Gate: Reflections on leading worship

Canterbury Press,
RRP $26.95

Reviewed by Barb Bailey.

THIS volume is a timely reminder of the privilege, responsibility and transformation possible through the journey of worship for pastors while leading the congregant in the knowledge that their expectancy and participation are what forms an authentic worshipping community.

Richard Giles, formerly Dean of Philadelphia Cathedral, has written many books on worship, believing good leadership
and a cohesive worshipping community reach a place where there is a blurring of the boundaries between heaven and earth.

He states that those who gather are “a holy people who have been charged with the energy of God and irradiated with God’s light”.

Yet he is extremely practical and touches issues such as calendars beginning with Monday being a hindrance to our thoughts and the need for worship to be relevant and able to delight children of all ages.

He exhorts his readers to be like the sunflower, always facing the sun, being expectant of what may happen and be prepared for transformation.

Mr Giles strongly advocates the usefulness of a weekend set aside for members to retreat to build trust and community.

He makes the claim that first time visitors will be influenced mainly by the welcome they receive and the quality of the music.

At Heaven’s Gate is easy to read, thought-provoking and informative.